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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Heavenly chords, high notes that soar

It wouldn’t have been a shock if Romeo and Juliet popped out from behind the stage at the Pierce College Performing Arts Building, as the Arioso Duo played music that could be described as Shakespearean sheet music on Thursday, May 7.

The elegant harp and the alarming flute turned out to be the perfect blend of music to keep the audience of students entertained.

Harpist Michelle Temple and flutist Cynthia Ellis, known as the Arioso Duo, joined this semester’s line up of performers to headline the Pierce Thursday Concert Series.

It was the first time the duo of 10 years had played at Pierce. They both enjoyed playing in the new performing arts building.

“I thought it was great. I could hear Cynthia perfectly. I felt like I could play really quietly and be heard,” Temple said.

“It’s a really good hall. It didn’t change a lot when people came in, but it seemed to warm it up a little bit. It was kind of stark at first,” Ellis said.

“I stood in the back and it was very clear. I could just articulate,” adjunct music instructor and host James Bergman said.

The two played traditional music for the concert, but Temple said they like to mix it up.

“We try to do a  wide variety of music from the romantic period or classical. We also like to do some pop stuff and Latin music for the sake of variety,” Temple said.

Temple and Ellis met while playing for the Pacific Symphony in 1994 and formed the duo in 2005. As a part of the symphony, they play for an audience of 2000, but as a duo they usually play for a more intimate audience similar to the one present at Thursday’s concert.

The next concert will be held May 14, headlined by Dances for Four Hands, a duo that performs on one piano and plays music from around the world.


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